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21 October 2014, 07:33 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50
Type 23 frigate HMS Kent has left Portsmouth today (Tuesday 21 October) for a deployment in the Indian Ocean.
The warship will spend six months on security operations and counter-piracy and drugs patrols.
HMS Kent will continue the Royal Navy's long-term presence East of Suez as she replaces HMS Northumberland currently on station.
Having been through intense training the ship is ready for a challenging deployment as part of the Royal Navy's standing commitment in the Middle East.
HMS Kent's Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Block, said:
"I am immensely proud of my ship's company and all they have achieved preparing HMS Kent to deploy on operations East of Suez. HMS Kent will return to the Middle East, a part of the world she knows well, to provide reassurance to the UK's allies in the region, whilst conducting maritime security, counter narcotics and counter-piracy patrols to protect British trade and wider national interests.
"This could not have been done with the support and commitment of our families and friends, very much members of team Kent. We leave them behind with a little sadness, but we deploy with full confidence in Kent's ability to meet any operational tasking head on and an understanding that our collective sacrifice is an important and meaningful part of UK's economic and physical security."
During the six-month deployment the ship expects to visit the African and Asian continents as well as European nations.